Where navy blue is pink

Standing in a line of about 1000 people in Delhi airport musing that Diana Vreeland once said that ‘pink is the navy blue of India’. I take that to mean that the country is vividly expressive and somehow fearless.

If that’s correct it’s certainly true of the media tech entrpreneurs here. Given that the language of technology is English and that only 70m (6%) of Indians speak it well it is astonishing that over 70% of that group are online and an even higher percentage has internet enabled phones.

Maybe most interesting though are the soon to be 300m pre-paid phone users whose one non-voice application is SMS.

The resulting focus of developers in enriching and ad enabling SMS is not so much pink as red hot and best be described as SMS 2.0. 2.0 here as elsewhere implies the structures that allow the development of communities and peer to peer activities and that is what is happening creating explosive growth in text volume and the ad real estate that goes with. Better still, India is way past text spam. Even pay as go users are profiled from initial registration to subsequent behavior giving advertisers a pretty secure view of their target.

As these users get Hindi language phones and text the number of texts in India could exceed the whole of Europe within a year.

By the way the Diana Vreeland quote was offered by the classiest non-reader of this blog,

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